Texas

Criminal Law
5:27 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Exonerations in Texas at record high

Watchtower at Huntsville Prison.
Credit Caleb Bryant Miller / KUT News

Texas exonerated more people than any other state last year.

13 Texans who were wrongly convicted of crimes were officially absolved of wrongdoing in 2013, for crimes ranging from murder to drug possession. They spent a matter of months to more than a decade in prison, the Texas Tribune reports.

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Healthcare
8:01 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Faith-based alternative to Affordable Care Act popular in Texas

Credit KERA

While the individual mandate requires ever American to have health insurance, there is a big exception to the Affordable Care Act that more and more people are taking advantage of.

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Flu Season
8:01 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

H1N1 flu virus hits Texas early

Credit CDC

Texas is among the states hardest hit so far by an early-striking flu season, and H1N1 is the strain most commonly reported among diagnoses this year.

Flu season this year is less severe elsewhere on the High Plains. Oklahoma is reporting a moderate flu season as of mid-December, while Colorado and Kansas are experiencing only localized or regional flu outbreaks, according to KUT Austin.

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Language maps (2)
9:01 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

THANKSgiving in the Panhandle and ThanksGIVing in Kansas – speaking of food on the High Plains

Residents of the Texas Panhandle are more likely to use the more southern pronunciation of emphasizing the THANKS in Thanksgiving (light blue shading).

If you live in the Texas Panhandle you’re more likely to be discussing plans for THANKSgiving rather than ThanksGIVing, as you might it Kansas.  There’s commonality in how we speak across the High Plains but also differences.  Click through the slide show above to view some food-related differences in pronunciation and usage across the region. 

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Wildfires
8:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Smoky Skies Affect the Region, Study Says

This panoramic view of east-central Texas on September 6, 2011, highlights numerous smoke plumes caused by wildfires burning across the state. The image was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Credit NASA Earth Observatory

The destruction caused by wildfires may be obvious to the observer, but one new piece of research brings attention to the potential effects of smoke from those wildfires.

The majority of the High Plains region falls under an area of the nation most affected by plumes of smoke from wildfires and other causes, according to research by environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Language maps (1)
9:43 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Where we don't speak the same language across the High Plains

Credit Bert Vaux (study data) and Joshua Katz (map)

We think of the High Plains as a region with a common geography, environment and economy.  But there are differences in language and dialect.  In some cases Panhandle Texans talk like other Texans and in others case they speak more like western Kansans.  And in still other cases there are differences once you cross the state line into eastern Colorado.  Browse through the dialect maps below to see some of these distinctions.  

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Lobbying
8:01 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Want a Tesla car in Texas? You'll have to order it online

You can look. You can touch. But you can't quite buy it here. The Tesla S at the company's showroom in Austin.
Credit Olivia Gordon/StateImpact Texas

It's the newest high-end electric car on the market, and it's not sold in Texas. It's not being sold in many other states, either.

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State Government
8:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Affordable Care Act Texas: New York Times Sounds Off

Credit texastribune.org

A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed there are a significant percentage of Texans without health insurance.  Texas state leaders have been some of the most resistant in the nation to provide coverage for the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act according to a recent editorial in the New York Times.

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Americans rank the states
8:12 am
Mon September 2, 2013

The gossip on states

The darkest colored state had the highest number of votes, the whitest colored states had next to none.

Side-by-side Kansas and Colorado were ranked first as having “the worst” and “the most beautiful” scenery in the country, respectively, according to a recent poll by Business Insider.  It is not clear whether eastern Colorado was considered part of Kansas or Colorado by the poll respondents.

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Drought coverage
7:00 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Texans picture the drought

Lake Colorado City
Earl Notingham, Texas Parks and Wildlife / flickr

Drought conditions are long familiar to the Texas Panhandle and are now becoming well known to other parts of the state.  The most recent drought report from the Texas Water Development Board shows that 97 percent of the state is now experiencing some level of drought.

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Natural Resources & Energy
8:01 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

High Plains States among Top in Wind Production

Wind turbines near Woodward, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden/StateImpact Oklahoma

Texas remains on top of the nation in total wind energy produced in 2012, while Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado are not far behind, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Additions to each state's wind generation capacity last year are keeping the four plains states in the top ten of wind energy producers, as indicated by the DOE's Wind Technologies Market Report.

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Agriculture
8:01 pm
Sun July 21, 2013

Lone Star State Tops Sunflower State in Sunflower Production

Texas surpassed Kansas to become third in the nation in sunflower production, Texas-based magazine Country World reports.

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Technology
8:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Why is Amarillo in So Many Songs? …and Other Google Autocomplete Assertions

You may or may not agree with it, but Google has some interesting things to say about where you live.  You just have to know how to ask.

By manipulating the “autocomplete” function implemented by Google, bloggers and journalists alike recently discovered they can trick the search engine into surreptitiously suggesting what may appear to be biased or over-generalized judgments regarding various geographic locales.

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10:33 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Will Perry Run Again? And if So, for What?

Lead in text: 
Will Rick Perry's name be missing from Texas ballots for the first time in 25 years? It seems to be anybody's guess, say Texas insiders.
Outside a 2008 meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Grapevine, Tex., a reporter asked Gov. Rick Perry if he was running for re-election. It was a far-fetched notion at the time.
HS graduation rates
5:05 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

High School report card: TX 88%, KS 83%, CO 74%, OK no report

Sharon Springs KS High School graduation, May 2012

The U.S.

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